By Rev. G. R. THOMAS,

Stated Clerk of the Memphis Presbytery of the Cumberland

Presbyterian Church,





(Transcribed by Charles Pickens, 1999)



"Sold by order of the Memphis Presbytery, for the benefit of superannuated ministers, and the families of deceased ministers of said Presbytery."





There is, perhaps, no man living or dead who has labored as long and as faithfully, or that has contributed as much to establish the cause of Christ under the auspices of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in the territory now known as that of the Memphis, Presbytery, as did the late and lamented Rev. Israel Sydney Pickens. His entire ministerial life was spent in this district, the history of which runs back almost to the beginning of our Church operations in this country.

Mr. Pickens was born in Abbeville District, South Carolina, June 5, A. D. 1799. His parents, Andrew and Margaret Pickens, were pious and exemplary members of the Presbyterian Church, but after moving to Tennessee, they joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in the communion of which they spent the remnant of their long and useful lives.

Andrew Pickens, Esq., was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and received a wound in his knee, at the famous battle of Bunker Hill, which disabled him for active service. He was tendered a discharge, but preferring to remain in the service of his country, he was appointed to drive a baggage wagon until he was able to bear arms again. He survived the war and lived in the enjoyment of his country's peace - purchased, in part, at the expense of his own blood - for more than fifty years; but was always lame from the effects of his wound. The fruit of his marriage with Miss Margaret Gillespie was twelve children, eight sons and four daughters; all of whom became members of the Presbyterian Church, except the three youngest - two sons, Robert and Israel, and one daughter - who became members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. "Uncle Bob," as we all loved to call him, was a ruling elder in the Church for nearly fifty years, and was a man eminently useful in his day and generation. He was always considered a "host" in a revival of religion, and made himself exceedingly useful at camp and protracted meetings. He frequently represented his congregation in the judicatures of the Church, and was always a wise Councilor. The writer has a very precious remembrance of the occasion upon which he first met "Uncle Bob". He was on his way to the first meeting of the West Tennessee Synod, after the late war between the States, which met at Mount Tabor, Madison County, Tennessee, in October 1865.

I had called at the house of the Rev. Joseph Pope, to spend the night. Soon after my arrival, there was a buggy halted in front of the gate, bearing two venerable looking men, with long flowing white beard and hair.

They were recognized on sight by our host, with whom they had come oft victors in many a hard battle waged in the name of the Lord, and for the up-building of his kingdom. They were soon met by him and his family, and made welcome to their king and generous hospitality. While their happy greetings were in course of exchange, I was told that they were "Uncle Bob" and "Uncle Israel" Pickens. I felt that I was upon the threshold of an acquaintance with two men, filling some of my early conceptions of two prophets of the Lord, going up to Mount Zion to consult in reference to the best interest and prosperity of God's Church. Peace to the ashes of "Uncle Bob," for at the age of eighty-one years he rests from his labors and his works follow.

Andrew Pickens, Esq., lived to the great age of ninety-one years, and departed this life September 15, 1844. His wife lived to the good age of 67 years, and died August 13, 1830. Their home for many years was with their youngest son - Israel Sydney. Light be the turf that grows over their graves, for their fruits will live to enrich the church for generations to come.

When the father of Mr. Pickens came from South Carolina and settled in Tennessee, the country was quite new, and the facilities for an education were very poor, and he was denied the privileges and advantages of well-regulated schools. But from constant study at home, with the advantages of an occasional three months' school in the neighborhood, he obtained what was denominated in those days a good English education.

He was united in marriage to Miss Sallie Rutledge, of Lawrence County, Tennessee, September 10, 1818, with whom he lived in great peace nearly fifty-nine years. Mother Pickens still lives at the old homestead in Fayette County, Tennessee. She told the writer not long since that Mr. Pickens never gave her a cross word in his life. She told me that in the early part of his ministry, when by order of his Presbytery, he would be engaged in missionary work, he would be from home sometimes nearly a month, and that preachers in those early days of the Church in this country had to ride their jaded horses over a vast territory, and swim the creeks and rivers in order to reach their scattered appointments. It was her custom from the first to meet him at the gate on his ever glad return, and say, "Well, my dear, you have come again." His answer would always be, "Yes, dear, in the providence of God I have never gone away but that I have been permitted to return." "Yes," she would say, "but the time will come when you will go away and not return to me again." "And sure enough he has gone away never to return to me again; but thanks be to God I can go to him." She said she knew it could not be very long until she would be allowed to join him in the bright world to come. While she thus, with swimming eyes and bleeding heart, talked of her departed treasure, it seemed that heaven was near at hand.

The fruit of his happy marriage was five sons and three daughters, all of whom were dedicated to God in baptism in infancy, and all of whom became worthy members of society and honored and useful members of the Church, except the youngest son, who was accidentally shot and killed by a neighbor boy while out bird hunting, at the age of sixteen years. The remaining four sons became elders in the Church of their parents, and two of their daughters became wives of elders in the same Church. Who would dare undertake to estimate the amount of good resulting to the Church and the world from this happy union of young hearts and hands in the midst of their teens?

Soon after their marriage they became connected with a school enterprise, known as the "Charity Hall Establishment," in the Chickasaw nation. Rev. Robt. Bell, who belonged to the second generation of ministers in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, was I charge of the enterprise. Mr. Pickens devoted a part of his time to teaching, and the remainder to the manufacture of bridles, saddles, and harness. In this way he was enabled to make himself very useful. Mrs. Pickens superintended the boarding department, and taught the Indian girls all sorts of house-work. In this way they were both employed for several years. By this means the red sons and daughters of the forest were domesticated, and taught the principles of religion and civil government, and here were, doubtless, laid, deep and broad, the foundations of many a religious life, which has resulted in lasting good to the race and to the world.

During their connections with this enterprise of the Church, in the year 1824, there was a protracted meeting held at the hall by the Revs. Robert Bell, Robert Donnell, and Wm. Barnett. At this meeting Mr. And Mrs. Pickens both professed religion, and were received into the church by Mr. Bell.

The reader would very naturally infer that they were religiously inclined before this, as their connection with "Charity Hall," a religious institution, would very naturally show. This, however, was the beginning of that long life of usefulness and devotion to God and his Church that has contributed so much to the upbuilding of his Zion in this country.

Shortly after Mr. Pickens and his wife embraced religion, and joined the church, he moved with his family to West Tennessee, and settled on Wolf River, twelve miles south of Somerville. Here he bought land, spread his tent, and built his first cabins. The country was then rude and wild, and sparsely settled, and they had to take their share in what falls to the lot of those who follow the tide of emigration, that ever spends itself on its western bound, in order to lay the foundations of civil and religious society. At the time Mr. Pickens moved and settled in this country, the whole of West Tennessee was included within the bounds of the Hopewell Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. That Presbytery met at Hull's school-house, Madison County, Tennessee, April 6, 1830. Rev. James Stewart was Moderator, but as he did not reach the place of meeting in time, the opening sermon was preached by the Rev. Richard Beard, from Col. I. 28. The members present were - Revs. James Stewart, Richard Beard, Reuben Burrow, Robert Baker, Wm. A. Briant, Anthony Lambert, James H. Walker, Thomas Bone, W. H. Bigham, and Thomas P. Stone. Members absent - Revs. John Malloy, Wm. Henry, and Wm. Bumpass. The minutes show that on Thursday, Bros. I. S. Pickens and Edmond E. Mitchenor were received under the care of the Presbytery, and that I. S. Pickens was ordered (this was the language used in those days) to prepare a written discourse or sermon to be read at the next meeting of the Presbytery, from St. John, third chapter and third verse. Of the noble and honored thirteen ministers that composed this Presbytery when Mr. Pickens was received a candidate, only three remain, namely, the venerable Dr. Beard of Lebanon, Tenn., and for the last quarter of a century, Professor of Systematic Theology in Cumber-land University, the venerable Mr. Lambert, of Mississippi, and the venerable Mr. Stone, of Arkansas. The rest have been called from their labors on earth to their rewards in heaven.

The year following the date of his reception as a candidate for the ministry, the Hopewell Presbytery met in the town of Bolivar, Hardeman County, Tenn. The opening sermon was preached by the late Rev. Reuben Burrow, from 1 Tim. Iii. 15. Members present, Revs. Reuben Burrow, Robert Baker, John Malloy, Wm. H. Bigham, Wm. A. Briant, James H. Walker, Thomas Bone, James Sampson, Anthony Lambert, John B. McKinney, and Thomas P. Stone. On Saturday, March 12, 1831, the Presbytery proceeded to license I. S. Pickens, W. C. Lane, and Edmond E. Mitchenor, to preach the gospel within its bounds or wherever God in his providence might cast their lots.

In the fall of 1831 the Franklin Synod, of which Hopewell Presbytery was a part, proceeded to divide the territory of the Hopewell Presbytery, and constitute two new Presbyteries, viz.: the Forked Deer and the Hatchie, and Mr. Pickens, now a licensed probationer for the holy ministry, fell within the bounds of the Hatchie Presbytery. In the following May the General Assembly constituted the West Tennessee Synod.

Mr. Pickens was ordained by the Hatchie Presbytery, at the house of Eld. John D. White, Shelby county, Tennessee, on the ____ day of March, 1834. From the date of his licensure, March 1834, until the date of his death, December 12, 1876, his history has become so connected and so interwoven with the history of the Church of his early choice in this district, that it would be difficult to write the one without writing the other. It would be interesting, perhaps, to many yet living, to read the history of the establishment and progress of our beloved Church west of the "Tennessee," but such is not the object or aim of the writer, nor does it come within the plan of the present sketch. It is only meant to draw upon such sources of history as are most intimately connected with the life and labors of a single actor in those grand and glorious achievements for Christ and his cause, which have resulted in the organization of more churches, the making of more ministers, and the gathering of more precious souls into the fold of Christ, under the auspices of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, than have crowned our efforts within the same number of square miles in any other locality. Truly the precious seen sown by the early pioneer preachers of our Church in what was then called the "Western District of Tennessee," and the precious fruits which have been realized, serve to illustrate the force and truth of the prophecy of king David, when he said, "There shall be a handful of corn in the earch upon the top of the mountains: the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon." Ps. lxxii. 16. If the reader will pardon what may seem to have been a digression from the main subject, the writer will endeavor to give some account of the labors of this noble servant of the Most High God.

He had charge of Shiloh and Shady Grove churches during his whole ministerial life of nearly forty-six years, preaching one Sabbath in the month to each of these congregations. Perhaps no minister in the entire Cumberland Presbyterian Church can present such a record as this. No other argument is necessary to prove his fidelity and fitness for the pastoral work, than the fact above mentioned. But to appreciate the good accomplished by this long term of service, you should see those church records, and behold the long catalogue of names of sinners who "were as a fire-brand plucked out of the burning," a large majority of whom are at rest with their beloved pastor be-yond the river; bot those that remain, serve to verify the adage, "Like pastor - like people." The writer has recently had access to the records of Shady Grove church, and he could but mark the degree of order and system and punctuality, with which all things were done. The motto of pastor and people seems to have been, "Let things be done decently and in order." Mr. Pickens also had charge of Green Bottom church five years, ot of which grew Morning Sun and Pleasant Hill churches, and of Moriah church five years at one time, and eight at another time. He had charge of the church at Collierville, Tennessee, two years. He organized Pleasant Grove church, and supplied it until 1850. He took charge of it again in 1859, and continued preaching to it until the close of his labors on earth. He organized what was called Old Union church, in the early part of his ministry, which was a very large, influential, and prosperous church for many years. In course of time, however, it became depleted and disorganized. He re-organized it in the year 1866, under the name of Mr. Carmel, and preached to it one Sabbath in the month until the year 1873. He rode the circuit in the bounds of his Presbytery eighteen months at one time, besides other special missionary labor. The records of the Presbytery would show to one altogether unacquainted with him, that he was a man of more than ordinary activity and devotion to the Church.

He was so exceedingly punctual in the discharge of all his duties, both public and private, that he had become proverbial in this regard. When he promised to be at a meeting we always looked for him. When the Presbytery or the Synod were to meet, we expected him to be present, and when he was appointed to attend the General Assembly, which was often the case, we always expected him to go. The records of his Presbytery show the fact, that of the ninety-two regular meetings of his Presbytery that it was his duty to attend, he was only absent at four meetings. And the records of the West Tennessee Synod show that he was rarely ever absent.

The last thing that he wrote for the papers of the Church, was an article for the Cumberland Presbyterian, the week before his last illness, which was an address to the members of his Synod upon their oft and repeated failures to attend the meetings of the same. But before the article referred to was in print, its author had fallen asleep in Jesus. After reading the article I was forcibly reminded of the saying of Paul "He being dead yet speaketh,." He had just attended the meeting of the West Tennessee Synod two short months previous to his death, which convened at Brownsville, Tennessee, a distance of forty miles from his home. The distance was made by him in his buggy, carrying his elder (Bro. J. Z. Gaither, of Shady Grove congregation) to sit with him in Synod. He reached the place of meeting in time to preach the opening sermon - the Moderator being absent. This duty was often imposed upon him both in Synod and in Presbytery, because it was known to all the brethren that he loved to preach, and was always willing and ready; and as Paul said to the Romans on a certain occasion, Father Pickens would say on all such occasions, "So as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also." - Rom. I. 15. It is the opinion of the writer, that there was no one present on the occasion of that Synodical communion, but carried with him away from that place of ordinances a very precious and sweet remembrance of the all-pervading presence of God by his gracious Spirit, while his people were being served at his own table, by Father Pickens of the Memphis, and Father McCutchan of the Obion, Presbytery. We all felt that it was good to be there, and we will doubtless ever remember the appointment that Father Pickens made, as it was his custom to do for many years before his death upon such occasions, "to meet us all in heaven, where parting will be no more, where congregations ne'er break up, and Sabbaths never end." We must now feel that the sainted father is gone to fill that appointment upon his part. Will we meet him? Will we be ready when our summons comes? Will we be able to say as he said just before the dread messenger came: "It is nothing to die. It is sweet to die and be with Jesus."

He died December 12, 1876, after about ten days' sickness. His disease was conjestion of the stomach and bowels. Revs. Richard Inge and R. B. Flaniken were watchers at his bedside for several days before his death. When the spirit had taken its flight, and his friends saw that he had fallen asleep, Rev. M. Zellner was sent for to preach his funeral. His relatives and friends, and the Masonic lodge of which he had been an honored member and Master for several years in the past, were all notified of his death and the time of his funeral. Before the hour had arrived, the church of Shiloh congregation - of which he had bee the shepherd for forty-six years - in sight of his own dwelling, was well filled, as well as the ground about the house, with sorrowing friends, and a bereft flock, who had come to pay the last sad offices of respect to his memory. O how their hearts must have swollen with sadness as they brooded over their loss! They were as sheep having no earthly shepherd for the first time in forty-six annual circuits of the sun. The voice of him whom they had always loved would be heard no more. All that was left of him whom they had all learned to call "Father Pickens" and "Uncle Israel," was lifeless as the clay, and that must now be buried out of sight. At the appointed hour for the funeral the body was placed before the altar in the church, and Revs. M. Zellner and R. B. Flaniken entered the pulpit. The Scripture lesson read upon the occasion was the 23d Psalm. The text was: "Mark the perfect man and behold the upright" for the end of that man is peace." - Ps. xxxvii. 37. The sermon by Bro. Zellner was said to have been one of the very best efforts of his life. A gentleman present, and member of another church, said that he never heard a better sermon. Bro. Zellner had known Father Pickens long and intimately, and had been his son in the ministry, and it was fitting that he should bear testimony to his worth. He had preached the funeral of nearly half a score of Mr. Pickens' family who had preceded him to the spirit land. After the sermon, the body was taken charge of by the Masonic brethren present, who, with appropriate ceremonies, lowered it into its last resting place on earth, there to await the resurrection morn, and the sound of the trumpet of God, when he shall bid it rise and put on its robe of immortality, and dwell with him forever in the paradise above.

His funeral was again preached before the Memphis Presbytery, at its spring meeting at New Salem church, Shelby county, Tennessee, in connection with that of Rev. Tolbert Atherton, by the Rev. Reuben Burrow, in accordance with a resolution of Presby-tery. Bro. Burrow had known him longer, and was more intimate with him in the early part of his own ministry, than any living member of the Memphis Presbytery. He had come to the house of Father Pickens when a beardless boy, on his way to preach Christ in the log church, the rude shelter, and beneath bush arbors in this country. Father Pickens did not send him on to find his way as best he could, but went with him and preached with him, and encouraged him in every possible way. After this, by order of the Presbytery, they were sent out as missionaries together, according to the custom of apostolic times, to preach to the destitute and waste places and hold camp and protracted meetings, and many were added to the Church. This memorial service of the Presbytery was peculiarly solemn and impressive. The large audience present, and the tear that flows when the heart if full, tell in fitting terms of his great moral worth.

Mr. Pickens was possessed of quite an even temper and an amiable disposition. These were peculiarly characteristic of the man, and won for him a large circle of friends. The name of Father Pickens had become a sort of household word throughout the bounds of the Memphis Presbytery; besides, he was a man known for his devotion to the Church, and for his readiness to respond to her every call, throughout the length and breadth of the whole Church. It was but a small matter to enlist the interest of Father Pickens in any and every enterprise that he had for its object the good of the Church and the glory of God. Sometimes his brethren thought him liberal beyond his means, and he would sometimes seem to over-crop himself in the great harvest field. The writer remembers an occasion upon which reference was made to his liberality by the late and lamented Dr. Davis, in a spirit and manner that impressed him with peculiar force. It was upon the occasion of the meeting of West Tennessee Synod, in the town of Brownsville, Tennessee, October, 1866. Rev. T. C. Blake, D. D., was there, as an agent for the rebuilding of Cumberland University. The Doctor was invited to address the Synod upon the subject of his mission, after which he appealed to the Synod to assist in the great work of re-building its own college. After there had been quite a number of liberal responses to his earnest call, Mr. Pickens very modestly arose to his feet, and told the agent that he would give a hundred dollars to assist in the great work of re-building Cumberland University. Dr. Davis was on his feet in a minute and said: "I feel sir, that it will not be long until some rich man in this community will die; and what, sir, will be said of him? Why, he has left a vast fortune. In the course of a few years, at most, it will be said that my dear Father Pickens is dead, and what will be said of him? Why, he has gone to his reward in heaven." "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, wand where thieves do not break through and steal." It was a true prophecy. It was but a short time until a rich man died in that community, and when he was dead, the best and most that could be said of him was, that he had laid up a vast fortune on earth, and had gone into eternity and left it all.

It will be remembered that a short time before Mr. Pickens died, he responded to what was known then as the Waterhouse proposition - to pay to the Board of Publication fifty dollars, to assist in the purchase of a new book press. When he saw that his work was done beneath the sun, he remembered this obligation, and requested that his churches make good his obligation, and appointed Bro. Inge to super-intend the matter; and it was done.

It is very well known that Mr. Pickens was not what the world would be pleased to call a great preacher; and yet he combined perhaps more of the elements of true greatness, in God's account, than is often found in the same character. Some of these elements he had to an eminent degree. I do not think that any one could be more pious, and pure in heart, and honest in all he did than he; and his record as to his punctuality in his attendance upon all his duties, both public and private, beautifully and powerfully attest the truth of his unwavering fidelity to his Church, his family, and his country, in all their individual and collective interests. He came as near up the writer's beau ideal of human goodness and greatness -- the latter growing out of the former -- as any man with whom he has ever been associated. And as a proof of all that has been said upon this point, the reader is referred to the large circle of friends, brethren, and sisters, that mourn the loss of a worthy and efficient minister of the New Testament. He was through life a most vigilant, laborious, and competent minister of the gospel.

He was exceedingly pleasant and companionable in all his intercourse with his brethren. He always met them with a smile. His person was rather striking. He was rather under medium height, broad shouldered, and was very compactly built, and was competent to endure a great deal of real service of body. His forehead was broad and massive, his eyes were small but brilliant, and his eyebrows heavy and projecting. There was something in the appearance of the man that served to identify him with a noble race of men, that belonged to the generation that are fast passing away. He was exceeding uniform in all his habits through life. As soon as he embraced religion, he erected his domestic altar, and at the time of the offering of the morning and evening sacrifice, it was his custom until the day of his death, to assemble his family and those that happened to be within his gates, around the family hearth-stone, where the Scriptures were read, and holy incense, in form of prayer and praise, were offered to a throne of grace. Mr. Pickens was a strong advocate of family religion, and the religious training of children. He placed great importance upon the duty of parents to dedicate their children to God in the ordinance of baptism. For nearly twenty years before his death he dept a record of every days' doings. He kept also a marriage record, from which it appears that he had officiated in the marriage of two hundred and sixteen couples. This of itself, in the absence of other proof, would go to show that he was a great favorite in the church and in the country in which he dwelt.

It is a fact worthy of record in this place, that Mr. Pickens always took a very decided stand in favor of all sorts of moral reform. He connected himself with the temperance reform at a very early period in its history in this country, and became one of its boldest and most devoted advocates. He joined the Sons of Temperance about forty years ago, and remained a member while the institution remained in that form. After the late war the institution was revived, and prospered for several years in the South. Finally the Grand Division of North America passed some resolutions in reference to the "color line," that were obnoxious to the State Divisions in the South, on account of which they withdrew from the International Division, and united with the Friends of Temperance under the new name of "United Friends of Temperance." Mr. Pickens connected himself with this new organization, and continued a member and strong advocate of its principles until death.

A little incident in his history in this connection serves to show the sincerity and honesty of his own heart. About thirty years ago, while he was traveling over the country advocating the temperance cause, and exhorting the people to deny themselves and be sober, his own consciousness reminded him that he was intemperate himself, in that he was addicted to the use of tobacco. His conscience smote him until he resolved to give it up, which he did, and was ever afterwards free from its use and abuse. Many of his brethren in the ministry would do well to imitate his example in this regard.

The manner of Mr. Pickens was his own; he never seemed to copy after any man. Individuality was a very prominent train in his character. He was always impressive in spirit and in personal appearance. There was no lack of a good measure of gravity in his deportment at all times. His countenance and voice were grave, solemn, and impressive. His words, both in the pulpit and in society, were well selected. His manners were comely and chaste. He loved his brethren devotedly, and had a most profound respect for the Deity

I wish in this place to insert an extract from a letter bearing date of February 1, 1878, from the Rev. David P. Coffey, who was ordained at the same Presbytery with Bro. Pickens. He says:

"Mr. Pickens was not an educated man, but generally correct in the use of language. He was not eloquent, but earnest and impressive. He had clear and strong convictions of man's sinful state, and equally clear and strong views of the fullness of redemption through the blood of Christ, to save all men. On these doctrines he devoted his life. In all his efforts he was never satisfied without some evidence of effect. Bro. Pickens was not a Paul, a Cephas, or an Apollow; but like Barnabas, he was a good man, full of faith and the Holy Ghost, and much people were added to the Lord. His ministry was not as brilliant as some others, but it was a success. He was a consecrated minister. He did his work, and did it well. He was no grumbler."

The above was not written to become a part of this sketch, but it affords such an accurate "pen picture" of the man as a minister of righteousness, drawn by the hand of one well acquainted with every feature of the subject, and one well and favorably known to those who will take most interest in the perusal of these pages, that it is cheerfully given. A score of others would, perhaps, bear testimony in fitting terms to his great worth, but space forbids. He would sometimes, and upon suitable occasions did, indulge in some well timed pleasantry with his brethren, but was entirely free from anything like levity such as would tend to mar his influence, or weaken the confidence of the ungodly in his sincerity and purity. Be it said to his praise, that during his entire Christian life of more than fifty years, the world never doubted his purity, but in all the relations of life he was believed to be honest and upright, and unwavering in his fidelity to what he believed to be right. The history of such a man is a legacy to the Church, as it seems to illustrate and establish in a practical sense, the force of a religious life.

Mr. Pickens was a good Presbyter. He was always safe in council. He was frequently chosen Moderator of his Presbytery. He always filled the office with dignity to himself and to the cause. He made an excellent moderator. His brethren always manifested a great deal of respect for his rulings and decisions as a presiding officer. His executive strength lay chiefly in what he conceived to be right. In the early part of his ministry he was associated with the venerable Reuben Burrow, and he seems to have caught much of the spirit and devotion of that great and good man.

By an act of Synod in the fall of 1839, the Forked Deer Presbytery and the Hatchie Presbytery were consolidated under the name of Union Presbytery. By the appointment of Synod, this Presbytery held its first meeting in the town of Brownsville, Haywood county, Tennessee, on Saturday, the 11th of April, A. D., 1840. The opening sermon was preached by the Rev. Reuben Burrow, from Matt. Ix. 37, 38. It will be remembered that this was at the close of the first decade in the ministerial life of Mr. Pickens. Ministers present, Revs. Reuben Burrow, Samuel Dennis, Israel S. Pickens, Jas. C. Foster, T. W. Hawks, R. A. A. Moorman, H. S. Morgan, Y. A. McLemore, and Thomas Horton, all of whom are gone to their rewards except Bros. Moorman and McLemore, both of whom are still honored and useful ministers in the Church, and members of the Madison Presbytery. Ten years later I find the Memphis Presbytery composed of the following ministers, viz.: Revs. Samuel Dennis, Israel S. Pickens, Robert Frazier, David P. Coffey, W. Whitsett, W. A. Cothran, Reuben Burrow, Jr., J. C. Wiley, Thomas McClelland, J. P. Wilson, and J. A. Haynes. These have all finished their labors beneath the sun, and gone up to the "General Assembly and Church of the First Born," except Bros. Cothran and Burrow still members of the Memphis Presbytery, and Bros. Coffey and Wiley, now members of the Searcy Presbytery, Arkansas. These still remain on earth in the days of their usefulness, laboring and toiling in the vineyard of the Lord, and waiting for the Master to say, It is enough, come up higher.

In the year of our Lord, 1851, Rev. M. Zellner was ordained to the whole work of the ministry, and from that time on, through the entire life of Father Pickens, he was perhaps more intimately associated with him than any member of the Presbytery. Their ministerial work lay near together, and as a matter of course, they assisted each other in their work, and as a legitimate result, their hearts were like unto the hearts of Johnathan and David. They were willing to labor with and for each other, and bear each other's burdens, that they might so fulfill the law of Christ. Bro. Zellner still remains an honored soldier of Immanuel, and through he has suffered great bodily affliction, he has made his mark, and will leave his impression for good upon the Church when he is gone to his eternal reward on high.

Honorable mention might be made of others who have stood with the subject of this sketch shoulder to shoulder, and have shared with him alike in toil and in triumph, but time would fail me to tell of Bryan, and Bryan, and McClellan, and Porter, and Thomas, and Winford, and Davis, and Ewing, and Dunaway, and Bone, and Ransom, and Atherton, gone with him to the bright world above, while the Burneys, and Pope, and Miller, and McPherson, are still left to finish their ministry before they go hence, and be no more. There is something grand and glorious in the thought of being able to finish the work allotted to a poor minister of Jesus Christ in this world! Yes, and to finish it with joy and not with grief. Oh how it must have thrilled the soul of the great apostle, after that he had borne the burden and heat of the day, after persecutions and afflictions for his work's sake were all over-past, in full view of heaven, he could say: "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will give me in that day, and not to me only, but unto all those that love his appearing."



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